Mar 08, 2022
In General Chat
Hi! Apologies if this is not the right place for this (and ends up a little long!), I couldn't find an email address though. I just wanted to pass on an observation I noticed recently. I am sure I am not the first but thought I would pass on my observations anyway: So, I am a father of 2 girls who recently started playing football and have found since then I look at the game very differently - through their eyes. I now take a much more active interest in the women's game right through to the youth level. Its been a real eye opener. Shamefully, I believe I used to suffer from what I call "passive sexism" and now I see it everywhere especially towards the women's game. Which brings me to the point of my post... I am a Plymouth Argyle fan, recently enjoyed hearing the podcast with Lucy Ford. With my new found interest in the women's game I have been trying to follow the Argyle Ladies more. I think the club are doing a good job in trying to raise awareness and treat the Ladies team more equally. It is a shame the local media does not do this! I was quite shocked to find that the local paper, the Plymouth Herald carries no content about the Argyle Ladies on their website at all, they didn't even carry anything about the #hergametoo campaign. No results, leagues table, match reports, nothing. I have written to the Herald asking about this and await their reply and have also written to the club suggesting they may want to take up the question with the paper themselves. I have low expectations in receiving a reply from either but live in hope. It seems to me that the local media coverage across the whole country is something that could really make a difference. It seems to me that this is almost part of their remit, to carry stories about local teams, be they boys, girls, women, men. They run stories about the academy so why not the Ladies? Not only will this give the team added respect they deserve but increase the exposure of the game to young girls who might then take an interest themselves? Hell, its that short sighted of them they don't even seem to realise it could increase their readership and website visits (leading to increase revenues). My curiosity got the better of me so I looked on the local paper websites of a few other cities that have women's teams including; Cardiff, Bristol, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Exeter, Chichester, Southampton. I found only 2 articles relating to a women's team. They all have a tab on the banner on the home page for the local sport, football, but also the local club, "Argyle", "Cherries", "City", "Rovers", etc, etc. Yet is seems they actually mean "Argyle men", etc. Most but not all of these papers/websites are owned by Reach plc. I just wanted to pass my thoughts on this to you, maybe this is something you might want to consider looking into for your campaign in the future. It might help, it might not, they may have their reasons.....This seems like a good example of "passive sexism" I am sure they would refuse to accept they are being sexist if challenged, however now I see it, they kind of are. Motivation for this? My daughters do not have coverage of teams and players they can look up to and be inspired to follow in their footsteps. Seeing the WSL can seem too out of reach but a photo and write up and information about matches to teams that are more local/accessible? That seems much more within reach. The Women's game needs national coverage, of course, but local coverage as well. Anyway, congratulations with the campaign and good luck with it.